MICHAEL HAMILTON
POSTAL HISTORY
POSTMARKS
STAMPS
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THE UNIQUE and SG UNLISTED SURCHARGE DOUBLE with SHORT “F”, St. Vincent stamps:
1894 “FIVE PENCE” on QV 6d lake (SG.60c + d combination), a used example part dated Kingstown – 13 95 showing the three distinctive coloured marks on Queen’s neck (aptly named the Southern Cross plate flaw by Peter Jaffe) as always found in conjunction with the short “F” overprint variety on Row 5/1 of the complete sheet, corner perf. fault and with BPA Certificate. Ex CHARLTON-HENRY.
The SURCHARGE DOUBLE error is SG catalogued £6,000 mint and £3,000 used for any of the few known survivors, the SURCHARGE DOUBLE with short “F” is not known mint and this is probably the only surviving example.
£1800




BRITISH HONDURAS and UNITED STATES combination postal history (Ex Ralph HART)
c1868 exceptional and exquisite combination piece with vertical strip of four plus horizontal pair British Honduras 1865 QV 1d pale blue No wmk P.14 (SG.1, Cat.£65) tied "A06", and pair 1861-62 U.S. 3c rose Washington tied partial cds and pmk'd segmented cork cancels at New Orleans where framed "STEAMSHIP" also applied. The U.S. 6c, by adhesives, show the double rate and the manuscript crayon "due 14" completes the 20c rate, the double rate franking with BRH adhesives should have totalled 8d. Some adhesive faults but a unique franking (Ex Ralph HART 1978, Lot 264 as pencilled).
Letters from British Honduras 1866 to 1869 could prepay the U.S. internal postage and supplies of the U.S. 3c rose Postal Stationery Envelope were evidently available in Belize for partial pre-payment as witnessed by covers (as per scans) of JA 12 1868 to Natchez, Mississippi (ex Edward S. Knapp, Maurice Burrus), and FE 27 1868 to Shreveport, Louisiana (Ex Ralph Hart). As the normal U.S. internal rate was 10c single rate, it is not understood why partial franking of 3c were the chosen partial prepayments, but this may have been the fee payable to the private contract steamboat carrier that made the trip between New Orleans and Belize City once a month starting in May 1867.
£1725

ST. LUCIA "REVENUE" issues archive piece
1884 QV 1d slate REVENUE in red handstamped "CANCELLED (Type D7) and 1885 QV 1d dull mauve REVENUE in black handstamped "SPECIMEN" (Type D11) in blue, both affixed to De La Rue to archive piece marked "Req 4-32". Ex CONRAD LATTO.
£525

ST. LUCIA stamps:
Essay in black with typographed head and surround but without outer name and duty plate frame-lines, the top tablet "ST. LUCIA" and bottom tablet "HALFPENNY" hand-painted, cut down to stamp size and affixed to small piece. Ex De La Rue Archives (1979).
£750


"Revenue" overprint omitted, Reversed CA watermark, St. Vincent stamps:
1883 THREE PENCE on QV 1d lilac REVERSED CA wmk with "Revenue" overprint omitted (PML.10), fresh very lightly mounted mint.
PML records this error on Page 147 of the handbook. The later 1897 issues of THREE PENCE on QV 1d mauve and red-mauve (SG.63, 63a) have never been recorded with REVERSED CA wmk.
£1200

GREAT BRITAIN (Elgin, Scotland) to VICTORIA, Australia postal history (Ex von Uexkull)
1872 cover with sender's "North Street Elgin" albino embossed flap to The Reverend William Ross, c/o Solicitors, Queen Street, Melbourne with two GB QV 3d rose Plate 7 pmk'd ELGIN "133" duplex dated E/AP 8 72, on arrival re-directed with VICTORIA QV 2d brown-lilac tied MELBOURNE 8H/MY 31 72 duplex to Mrs. Ross's Lodgings, Campbell Street, Castlemaine, b/stamped London AP 9 72, Melbourne A/MY 31 72 and Castlemaine MY 31 72. Ex Jakob von UEXKULL (1997).
Few covers from Great Britain forwarded with VICTORIA QV adhesives locally or to other Australian States exist, and I can only currently record GB 1/- (DE 5 1855) forwarded Melbourne to Castlemaine with 2 x 3d; GB stampless (JA 21 1856) forwarded Melbourne to Tarrengower with 1d, 3d, 1/- REGISTERED stamp; GB 1d x 3d, 6d (AP 10 1860) forwarded to Encounter Bay, S. Australia with 6d; GB 1d, 9d (MR 19 1872) Dublin to Melbourne forwarded Minnebah Reefs, Tasmania with 3d. The only other Victoria QV 2d forwardings known to me are on cover USA 5c (DE 28 1880) Adelaide to Sydney, NSW with 2d (von Uexkull), and USA 6c rose pair (JA 19 1882) forwarded Brisbane to Sydney, NSW with 2d (Edward S. Knapp).
£1200

ST. VINCENT stamps:
1882 QV 5/- rose-red ovp'd "REVENUE" (PML.6), superb full gum with light hinge remains.
£1200


Wreck of the S.S. "WALDENSIAN" en route to Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope, NATAL postal history
1862 cover to Josh Smith, Risebro, Kirbymoorside, Yorkshire with QV Chalon 6d grey (SG.13) packet rate pmk'd in the first few days of October 1862, showing PAID/DEVONPORT/CAPE PACKET/28 NO 62 overstruck red London NO 29 62 and red crayon "4" credited to the UK (compared to 5d in the Cape Colony), reverse shows trace of a backstamp but detail lost with missing flap. The saved mail was taken by Union steamer "Athens" which left Cape Town on 21st October arriving Devonport 28th November 1862.
The Rennie steamer "Waldensian" sailed from Durban bound Cape Town on 6th October 1862 but struck rock at Struy's Point Reef, near Cape Agulhas, at 11pm on Monday the 13th. Captain Joss, having sight of the land and knowing the area, sent the second officer with a boat to look for a landing place. After a beach was secured two boats took out the female passengers, followed by the carpenter, the boatswain, and the elderly men. A fire was lit on shore and by daylight, after several trips, all 100 souls, and the mailbags had been saved. The mailbags and most of the passengers were conveyed overland from Somerset West reaching Cape Town on Thursday, others rescued by the "Kadie" or "Albatross". The "Waldensian" broke in half about 11.30am on the 14th, and, with the cargo became the perfect wreck. Losses included costumes and instruments of the Christy Minstrels, and four years observations on the trigonometrical survey of the colony with passenger Captain Bailey.
£1500

The SG uncatalogued 1866 QV 1/- in bluish slate (SG.8 variety), ST. VINCENT stamps:
A very fine exceedingly rare fresh mounted mint example of this unlisted stamp with printer's guide-line lower right corner, together with a fine used example with crisp horiz. brown "A10" (PML.3), plus a mint pair of the QV 1/- indigo (SG.13) for comparison.
The QV 1/- indigo (SG.13) was invoiced FE 27 1869 and the known covers spanning period AP 24 69 to OC 10 70 all fall within the use of the VERTICAL "A10" used period SP 25 68 to JU 10 72. Use of the horizontal "A10" on 1/- indigo is therefore an impossible contemporary combination. The St. Vincent PML handbook Page 34 acknowledges that the August 1866 QV 1/- Perforation B 11-13 exist in both the listed slate-grey (SG.8, Cat.£2500 mint) and also in a "bluish-shade" and initially surmised that at least two sheets perforated B slate-grey were mixed among the 500 plus sheets of the consignment. BWISC member Dr. Bruce Aitken has suggested that as this stamp was printed alongside the QV 4d deep blue (SG.6) the printers may have realised they were a few sheets short and made a special printing that came out a bit bluish in order to fill the order. Brown ink was used in the last 3 months of 1867, and used examples of this bluish slate variety were offered in the Jaffe collection.
£3500





CONFEDERATE sloop-of war transfers YANKEE P.O.W.s to DANISH brig, St. Croix postal history
1863 letter written April 13 by semi-literate Dudley K. Dow to his "mothere" Mrs Thomas Dow, Deer Isle, Maine, USA stating that he had been taken by the Felardy (his hearing/understanding for the Florida) and "Cent in to Cante Croix", his postscript in ink confirms that his stay on the island has been dull "the times hire is dool" but mentions "we shell leave here to day For home", posted in small envelope, slightly trimmed at left, with handstruck SHIP and "5" (due) in black and landed with red BOSTON/MY 6/MASS d/ring. On March 12th 1863 the Danish brig “Christian” took into St. Croix prisoners recently transferred from the Confederate States Steamer (C.S.S.) “Florida”. The “Florida” was a sloop-of-war serving as a highly successful commerce raider in the Confederate States Navy during the American Civil War. She was built in Liverpool and departed England 22 March 1862, and after a collision with a United States Army Transport troop ferry sank on 28 November 1864. The Florida captured 37 prizes during her short impressive career. Two books cover this event: “The Life and Services of John Newland Maffitt” (captain of the C.S.S. Florida). On Page 283 of the journal is mention of capturing the bark M. J. Colcord from New York bound Cape Town on 30 March 1863, and their transfer to the Danish brig Christian some 37 hours later on 1 April 1863. “The High Seas Confederate” book, Page 83, confirms that Maffitt captured “a propaganda” ship, the M.J. Colcord on 30 March 1863, transferring provisions from the prize, that the master of a Danish brig agreed to take all the remaining prisoners, and that Maffitt burned the M.J. Colcord.
£6500





"V" day, Meikles shop celebrates with "a dummy of Hitler in a real coffin", Rhodesia postal history
1945 use of 3d Victoria Falls ACTIVE SERVICE AIR LETTER headed "V" day!!! Tuesday 8th May pmk'd GWELO 8 MAY 45 to F/Lt E. Thompson, No.2. E.V.T. Instructors School, R.A.F. Middle East from his very worried and loving wife with salutation "My own adorable little Welsh Husband" with contents including "listening to London last night when we heard the news flash - it seems almost too good to be true" and "we shall listen to Mr. Churchill at 3, and again to the King at 9 o'clock". There is mention of "Gwelo looking "quite gay" with flags flying everywhere", and that Meikles Window for "V" day is lined with black crepe and they have "obtained a real "coffin" in which they have placed a dummy of Hitler". An exceptional end of war item for the KG6 collector; a Waterfalls thematic collector; and a sensational item for anyone exhibiting Postal Stationery.
VE Day stands for Victory in Europe Day which took place on Tuesday May 8, 1945, VE Day was the day on which the allied forces announced the surrender of Germany in Europe. It marked the end of Adolf Hitler's war and sparked celebrations around the world. The day before at 2.41pm on May 7, 1945 Germany had surrendered. This special Active service Letter Card was for use by servicemen, and civilian use was forbidden and any such usage resulted in surcharge.
£925


GREAT BRITAIN to INDIA postal history combination
1864 cover marked "via Marseilles and Bombay" to Charles Norman Pochin (1826-1870, East India Company Official), Madras c/o forwarders Arbuthnot & Co with GB QV 1d, 4d, 6d tied Bath "53" duplex dated I/NO 3 64, on arrival India QV 2a yellow added tied both ARBUTHNOT & Co company handstamp and MADRAS "1" duplex dated DE 6 for re-direction to Chiglepett, b/stamped red CHIGLEPUT DE 6 dbl-arc arrival clear of missing side flap.
£425


INCORRECT VICTORIAN GRAMMAR on PREPARATION PROOF SHEET with UNISSUED VERTICAL LINED PAPER
1866 QV 1d pale rose INLAND REVENUE on UNISSUED vertical laid paper stamps, a generally fine and fresh IMPERFORATE complete sheet of twelve stamps showing the two units of six stamps laid down and aligned for printing purposes (unlike BADLY ALIGNED Sheet 256) within the full marginal inscriptions including One Penny Each - One Shilling per Sheet. at base (changed on issued sheets) on gummed paper sheet numbered 258 at top left. Some slight creasing. Note: The initial delivery is thought to be Sheets 1 to 250 making a total of 3,000 stamps being issued on horizontal laid paper with base inscription reading One Penny each - One Shilling per Sheet. - the change from Each to each being made at preparation stage due Victorians being fussy about incorrect grammar. Only three imperforate sheets (numbered 256,257,258) are currently known with the original "Each" setting, and each showing differing adjustments to the lining up of the two units. Morley in 1910 reported the existence of these stamps on vertical laid paper but both Britnor (1965) and Robson Lowe (1990) were unable to confirm their existance in their handbooks. Sheets 251 to 260 are therefore printer’s unissued preparation sheets. The "Each" error was not noticed by philatelists until 2001 (135 years later!).
£1500




Proofed/unrecorded ERRONEOUSLY APPLIED unique TRINCOMALEE/RETURNED FOR POSTAGE,CEYLON postal history
1845 wrapper from C. Brun fils, Port Louis pmk'd red MAURITIUS POST OFFICE d/ring dated NO 05 1845 marked "via Ceylon" to Veillon Freres, Bordeaux, France with "Paid 1/8" in dark black ink most unusually landed on Ceylon's north east coast (instead of the southern port of Galle) showing prepared for application TRINCOMALEE/RETURNED FOR POSTAGE datestamp for NO 22 1845 erroneously applied, crossed through, and TRINCOMALEE/STEAMER LETTER added for the next day in the same coloured ink. Carried via ALEXANDRIA (JA 7 1846) with 25mm chisels slits and large part PURIFIE AU LAZERET/MALTE handstamp added showing red PAQ. ANG. MARSEILLES (16 JANV 46) on address panel and Bordeaux (10 JANV 46) arrival backstamp with 96 decimes to be collected. Exhibition item collecting cancellations from five different countries.
Similar RETURNED FOR POSTAGE datestamps were proofed for other Ceylon towns but none are known used. This remarkable example only exists due being wrongly applied.
£7250



Wreck of the 'Schiller' (Hoboken N.J, Scilly Isles, Germany's "Titanic"), Canada postal history
THE ONLY RECORDED WRECK COVER ORIGINATING FROM CANADA marked "Via United States" with Small Queen 2c green x 2, QV 6c brown x 2 pmk'd HALIFAX N.S. A/AP 22 75 duplex to The Manager, The Imperial Bank, Lothbury, London taken from the wrecked S.S. Schiller on the Retarrier Ledges, Scilly Isles to London where red London Paid 10 MY 75 cds applied, reverse with handwritten contemporary endorsement of "This Envelope was down in the Sr. Ship Schiller wrecked on a rock off the Scilly Isles in the month of May 1875".
Accompanied by a wonderfully easy to read pre-owned copy of "The Victorian Titanic".
£3000


QUEENSLAND postal history
1875 Wagstaff family cover from California with U.S. 3c x 2, 10c tied segmented cork cancels with adjacent red SAN FRANCISCO PAID cds dated MAR 8 and marked "per City of Melbourne Ship" to John Wagstaff, Agricultural (Station?), Rockhampton, Queensland forwarded with tied Queensland QV 2d blue to Lily Vale via Gainsford, backstamped Brisbane AP 5 75 with Rockhampton AP 9 75 arrival and forwarded Rockhampton AP 22 75 with Lilly Vale MY 3 1875 arrival. An exceptional combination.
On JA 1 1874 the rate to all Australian Colonies, New Zealand and Fiji was reduced to 2d.
£3000



MAIL TO CRIMEAN WAR GENERAL WHO INVENTED A HEATED CANNONBALL AS A BED-WARMER, Canada postal history
1863 cover to General Higginson, 9 Wilton Crescent, London with QV 12½c tied Montreal duplex dated AP 17 63.
Grenadier Guards General Sir George Wentworth Alexander Higginson was born in Wilton Crescent Belgravia and during the Crimean War improvised a bed-warmer for the freezing nights by heating up a cannonball in the campfire.
£225







THE UNIQUE B.W.I. "DOUBLE COUNTRY" JAMAICA and BAHAMAS SAILOR'S CONCESSIONARY RATE ENTIRE
1835 entire "From Alexander Spain on board His Majestys Brig Wasp" to his sister Charlotte Spain in Southampton countersigned on face by J.N. Syke, Lt. Acting Commanding Officer with "Paid 1" in horizontal oval and matching red ink LIVERPOOL AP 14 1835 arrival backstamp. Written at Port Royal, Jamaica 12th February, travelled with him to Belize, with cross-written finish at Nassau, Bahamas 12th March with "since writing the first part we have been with troops to Honduras in New Spain and thence to this place on the same errand". Opening tear into address panel hardly detracts, some small internal splits but clean with delightful content including mention of fond memories of picking buttercups and daisies on their way to school.
No privilege rate countersigned pre-stamp Sailor's letters are currently recorded from Jamaica (which is quite extraordinary for such a large island) or the Bahamas, and the only two recorded entires as such for the B.W.I. group, are from Antigua (HMS Pique MY 26 1845) with rate paid by attached sewn 1d coin, and 1d paid from Alexander to his sister Charlotte Spain on the Wasp while again at Belize 30 June landed Dartmouth 29 August 1835. The "Wasp" was built during 1811-12 and at this time was on duty on the North America and West Indies station with 85 officers and men, 24 boys, 20 marines. Alexander Spain was a first class boy waiting to be rated. He mentions homecoming in about 20 months - the Wasp arrived Portsmouth 15 April 1837 having left Jamaica 11 February but during a gale on 4 April she lost her foremast and straps plus her bowsprit during a mid-Atlantic collision with the Elizabeth due poor visibility.
£2800

1954 PRESTWICK DISASTER COVER and GREAT BRITAIN AMBULANCE COVER to JAMAICA
1954 charred edge back and front of cover pmk'd London 23 XII 54 together with contents to R.H. Ridler, Barclays Bank Ltd, Kingston, Jamaica, B.W.I. requiring completion of its journey, due such distressed condition, by Great Britain Post Office O.H.M.S. ambulance cover, both covers struck with purple boxed "SALVAGED MAIL/AIRCRAFT CRASH/PRESTWICK 25-12-54"., flap of latter poorly opened.
BOAC Boeing 377 Stratocruiser crashed on landing at Prestwick Airport in the early hours of Christmas Day 1954, 28 of the 36 onboard were killed.
£325







BRITISH KAFFRARIA WRAPPER from a SURVIVOR OF THE H.M.S. BIRKENHEAD TROOPSHIP DISASTER
In response for requests for testimonies from survivors the only surviving letter from the Cape: 1858 wrapper docketted "Andrews 20 Nov 1858" (the content removed but published) to David Seton, Portabello, near Edinburgh marked "Registered at King W Town 25.11.58" and "K.W.T. C.G. Hope" at lower left with two damaged copies 4d blue tied triangular handstamp with CAPE PACKET DEVONPORT JA 26 1859, red Crown/REGISTERED and red oval REGISTERED/LONDON 27 JA 59 alongside address panel, reverse red CAPETOWN DE 2 1858 transit, black Edinburgh and blue PORTABELLO JA 28 1859 arrivals.
Younger brother (Major) David Seton was quite determined from an early stage to gather as many facts as possible. He met many of the survivors personally and continued with his determination that the heroism displayed by his elder brother Alex should always be associated with the ‘Birkenhead’. Personal interviews, and correspondence with testimonies from survivors, continue as late as 1858-59 and he printed a little book on the Wreck of the ‘Birkenhead’ in Edinburgh in 1861, and again in 1873 and 1890 which was initially intended for private use and not for publication or sale. The Andrews testimony is published on pages 134/5 in "A Deathless Story" by A.C. Addison being a 318 page account of the Birkenhead.
£7250
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